Damitol inched closer to Testicleeze. A dozen conical boulders chanted at them from an orifice that didn’t look like a mouth. One or more appendages like arms but very stick-like formed from each of the other rocks and, like the first had done, pointed at them. The rocks surrounded them on three sides and on their fourth side, the edge of a steep cliff blocked their escape.
In the distance, more of the boulders began moving toward them. Some of the closer ones seemed to raise themselves up and walk on some kind of stout, formless legs, but the ones farther away had flipped over and rolled their way. A large number of limbs around the top of the cone pushed off in rhythm, keeping the rock rolling, even uphill, although they rolled around either side of the cliff.
“Can we go now?” Damitol asked.
Testicleeze dug through his bag. “Here it is. Universal translator.” He turned it on, and in a few seconds, the display lit up.
“Maybe it needs to hear more.”
“Uhh, there are hundreds of them coming our way. Let’s go.”
“I’ll try talking to them.” He raised his voice, addressing the first rock that had pointed at them. “Hello. We are friends. We come in peace.”
“We aren’t friends, Testicleeze. We’re tourists. C’mon, tour’s over.”
The chanting bark didn’t seem to change. The translator remained adamant that the language was unknown.
Testicleeze walked toward the rock that he thought of as the leader. It was taller than most, and closer to him than any other.
“Don’t leave me.” Damitol rushed to his side, melding her aura with part of his. The rocks disturbed her, but they hadn’t made any overtly aggressive moves against the pair.
The barking chant didn’t seem to change as more and more of the boulders gathered and joined it. However, the sound level didn’t increase. They seemed to tamp down their individual volume to keep the collective amplitude the same. The boulder field they had come to investigate had now come to them. Damitol hoped they were just curious, but feared they had something else in mind.
Testicleeze halted a few paces away from the leader. He extended his aura until it touched the pointing appendage that he thought of as an arm. The rock pulled its arm back, closing its mouth abruptly. It extended its arm again little by little until it came into contact with his aura. The tip of the arm probed the edge of his colored tendril. It acted like it could feel the aura, but couldn’t sense it otherwise.
“Inability to visualize auras,” Testicleeze muttered. He extended a tentacle, and the rock pulled its arm back well before it arrived. “It can see the physical self, though. Hmm . . . I don’t see any visual organs.”
He pulled back his tentacle and then released a spurt of air from his portacont. The rock abruptly sprouted legs and moved back a pace. It settled again, opened its mouth and resumed the chant.
“Doesn’t seem to like our atmosphere. Must have some kind of gas or aroma sensors.”
“Are you talking to me?” Damitol asked, eyeing the growing crowd of boulders around them.
“Hmm? Just making verbal notes.” He moved closer to the lead rock.
Damitol gasped. One of the smallest rocks rolled past the crowd forming the circle around them. She lurched away from it and toward Testicleeze. Then she realized that its upper appendages seemed to be trying to stop its rolling, but it just kept getting faster. She instinctively reached out and snatched it into her tentacles. Its momentum spun her around, but she held on. All its appendages immediately withdrew into its tiny conical body.
The chant ceased.
Stay tuned for the next adventure in the joy rides of Damitol and Testicleeze.
Don’t stop yet!
Tell me what you think of Damitol and Testicleeze. Be sure to read the earlier posts, starting here.
You can get another free story by clicking here. What happens when the ship that Merlin the magician stowed away on runs into a hurricane? Can he make it through the storm to Texas? Read your own copy of this prequel to Merlin’s Knot by clicking here.
I’ve put a glossary of gonzo terms here.